I have been a member of 30 bananas a day for a long time now and I have been reading the inspirational stories here to keep me going. I decided to share mine with you to pay it forward!
I come from a background of anorexia nervosa followed by bulimia later on. I had been eating disordered for almost FIVE years! At my lowest points, I was irritable, fatigued, depressed and had isolated myself from friends and family. The last bit was the most heart breaking. It wasn't until I fainted while standing on a New York City subway that I realized it was time to wake up.
I went raw on July 1, 2011 after watching countless videos of Durianriders and Freelea. Their tough love approach really hit home for me. Prior to going raw, I was a vegetarian who gave no regard to fat content in foods. I ate fake hot dogs, fake yogurts, pickles, mustard--anything that was "low calorie". I combed the Internet for pictures of extremely thin top models for inspiration and read up on their diet plans. I was slender but my body was out of shape and I still had love handles. When I saw the way Durianriders and Freelea looked and how much energy they had, I thought they must be onto something here!
I started out eating as MUCH as I could...anything to keep me from feeling hungry at night and binging and purging. I'm not going to lie: it took a LOT of work and I did mess up a few times. But I stuck with it! My skin broke out. I developed a chronic melon belly that did NOT go away in the morning. I had such severe stomach pains at night that made me cry myself to sleep. I'd go on the forums here and write for help, search the search engine, and see other eating disordered people had this problem, too. I gained about 10lbs from eating all the fruit that I did and no overt fats. My belly made me feel self-conscious and I could barely walk on some days. I looked like I was 8 months pregnant for the first 4 months of going raw. But I kept with it.
After 4 months, I started exercising. Rain or shine, I started out with jogging for about 20 minutes 6 days a week. Gradually, I built up my stamina. I heard Kristina Carillo-Bucaram say she ran 6-8 miles a day and so I set a new bar for myself. I found out that it is VERY important to have fitness goals to work towards and to constantly challenge yourself physically on this lifestyle. It will not only help you with getting fitter but it will also destroy the "eating disorder mentality" of getting thinner to feel better about yourself. Now I feel better about myself for my commitment to health and fitness but also for choosing a lifestyle that decreases my carbon footprint.
By the time January rolled around, I started training with light weights. If you come from a history of being severely underweight or anorexic, this is extremely important. It will tone your muscles, increase your metabolism, build your bone mass back up again, and actually help you with running. It wasn't until I started doing weights that I noticed my tummy and parotid gland swelling went down significantly. My clothes were started to fit me better and people commented that I looked somehow taller and walked straighter.
Here's something I also learned on this plan: it is OK to eat cooked foods once in a while as long as raw foods are the majority. At least for me. I had a demanding job in health care where you can't just eat a bunch of fruits when you want to. I used to hide some vegan bars in my labcoat pocket and munch on those when I got hungry. I sometimes brought a container of brown rice with me. Anything to keep me from feeling hungry. I did go to the bathroom much more often than my dehydrated colleagues, but fortunately, no one can fault me for answering nature's call. :p
I did not start losing fat and water weight until about March or February. It was a slow process of about 0.5 pounds per week and I still have not gone down to my pre-eating disordered weight yet. Maybe I will never go back to that weight! What matters is how my body looks, how I feel, and my waist-to-hip ratio, which is improving more and more each day! I stopped caring about models and high fashion. When your body looks fit and healthy, ANYTHING you wear looks GOOD! I'm so happy to reveal that I do not need to spend drop hundreds of dollars on a pair of designer jeans to look like a million bucks!
I am writing this today because I noticed for the first time this morning that my cheek swelling and belly swelling has gone down drastically. I no longer need to wear foundation/concealer and I haven't seen my skin this clear since I was a teenager! I want to encourage any men or women out there who are struggling with an eating disorder to give it up! It has taken me almost a year to see any significant change in my body and I abused my body a LOT, but keep with it and you will see results! I also want to say that it is OK to eat cooked foods if you see your family cooking your favorite dish (that is also vegan of course) and it's OK to eat bars every once in a while when fresh fruit is unavailable. Do whatever it takes to keep your body from eating high fat animal products. These are words of advice that I wish I could have known when I started as I was really impatient in the beginning.
If you follow Durianriders and Freelea's advice to a T (lots of sleep, 30 mins exercise 6 days a week, high carb, low fat), you WILL see your body transform. The unexpected payoff is that your mind and your heart will also change for the better! You will reclaim your energy and self-esteem. :)
Start weight: 128lbs 32-25-36.5
Current weight: 121lbs 32-24-35.5